Victoria Police Protective Services Officers (PSOs) will experience real life scenarios of working on Melbourne train platforms even before they graduate, with the construction of a purpose-built training railway station at the Glen Waverley Police Academy.
Recently I joined Acting Premier Peter Ryan, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner of Transit Chris O’Neill and Victoria Police PSOs in training to unveil the mock train platform at the academy’s scenario village.
The mock railway station will complement a 12 week course, which includes on-the-job training with Victoria Police Officers from the Transit Squad which all Victoria Police PSOs undertake before taking up their post. The training railway station includes a platform and decommissioned train carriage and will be used to develop the skills of both police officer and PSO recruits in a realistic setting.
It’s clear to see that Victoria Police PSOs are having a big impact on improving safety and reducing anti-social behavior on Melbourne’s train system. A recent survey of 2,700 Victorians shows overwhelming support for the Victoria Police PSOs on train stations, with most respondents agreeing that their presence is making night train travel safer.
Since deployment in February this year, the growing number of Victoria Police PSOs have been involved in a range of activities including making arrests, detecting breaches of bail, identifying outstanding warrants, and issuing infringements offences including smoking, alcohol and offensive language offences.
Victoria Police PSOs have a range of powers to address crime and anti-social behavior on train stations, contributing to a safer public transport system, helping to change the perception of safety and creating an environment that will support greater use of the rail network.
The Victorian Coalition Government has allocated $212 million to recruit, train and deploy Victoria Police PSOs at every metropolitan train station as well as four major regional centers, every night.
Victoria Police PSOs have already been deployed to over 20 rail stations across Melbourne, including the Glen Waverley line.